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Although the occupation of France

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Although the occupation of France

Post by Guest on Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:13 pm

Although the occupation of France during World War II temporarily interrupted French development of armoured fighting vehicles, clandestine research allowed the French to quickly recover lost ground after its liberation in mid-1944.[2] During the occupation, the French had secretly worked on an armour program that was in 1944 taken over by the state workshop Atelier de Construction de Rueil (ARL), resulting in the design and production of the ARL 44, which was produced from 1946.[3] The tank was powered by a Maybach HL-230 575 horsepower (429 kW) engine, and armed with a 90-millimeter (3.5 in) tank gun.[4] Although the 48-metric-ton (53-short-ton) vehicle was comparable to contemporary battle tanks in firepower and engine power, it suffered from distinct disadvantages, including an antiquated track design.[2] While 600 were planned for production, only 60 were ultimately manufactured by 1950. These were that year issued to the 503rd Tank Regiment, of the French Army.[5] Given that the ARL 44 was considered only a stop-gap vehicle for the French Army's armoured forces since the beginning of its inception, work on a new tank had begun as early as March 1945.[2]

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